September 23, 2019
Families First Fundraiser Raises $200K, Setting a Record

November 29, 2018 — Families First, a nonprofit based in Watertown that provides services aimed at educating parents about child care to promote secure and nurturing parent-child relationships, recently announced it raised $200,000 at its annual Breakfast Benefit, the most raised in the 30 years the event has been held.

Families First said the Breakfast Benefit, held Nov. 19 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Boston, drew 203 people and met its fundraising goal. Last year's breakfast raised $165,000, but drew 225 attendees.

Sue Covitz, executive director of Families First, said, “This was a record-breaking year for the Breakfast Benefit. We are celebrating our 30th anniversary as a leading parenting education organization, and the event was part of a robust campaign raising funds for growth."

Funds will support the growth of Families First's new, comprehensive parenting education program called the Power of Parenting, which creates supportive communities where parents of young children can build their knowledge and skills.

The event generated 18% of total funds the organization plans to raise this year.

Most of the funds were raised from sponsorships and individual donations. New this year was a pre-registration process, which facilities the check-in process run and allowed guests more time to network and connect with our staff before the program started, which, it was noted, created "more energy in the room."

The event featured Linda Braun, the founder of Families First. Co-chairs Judi Remondi and Steve Alperin led the fundraising efforts.

During the event, to help the audience better understand the impact of Families First’s program in the community, two parents shared their stories of transformation.

According to Covitz, “Almost 90% of parents who graduated from our program are now more resilient in the face of stress. And I think a big part of this is because 93% of them also built stronger social support systems. The parents in our programs put in so many hours of hard work to learn, make tough changes in their parenting, and encourage their kids’ learning, all while supporting each other.”

Braun established Families First in 1988 in conjunction with Wheelock College and the Boston Children’s Museum with the goal of helping parents navigate the diverse challenges of raising children by providing research-based parenting education services. In the early 2000s, it began to target services specifically to families in under-resourced communities.

In 2016-17, 690 parents participated in Family First programs, receiving nearly 3,000 program hours, benefiting 1,400 children.

Over the past 10 years, more than 25,000 parents in Massachusetts have accessed Families First’s free parenting support, for the benefit of 50,000 children.

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